The One Week Batwing Jumper…

….that’s taken 2 months to finish. Gah!

First things first, I love the Wendy Batwing Sweater pattern. The main body of the jumper is knitted as one large piece, so less pesky sewing together of seams to do at the end, and it knits up quickly – the wool is chunky, the needles are large (7mm) and it’s ‘holey’ in design.

Batwing Sweater Pattern in Wendy Serenity Chunky (5835).
Batwing Sweater Pattern in Wendy Serenity Chunky (5835)

So why on Earth did it take you two months, I hear you cry? A rookie mistake, I’m afraid – a misjudgement of the amount of yarn needed to complete the project. Although, it was close – half a ball more (just 25g of yarn) did the trick. Rather than use the Wendy Serenity yarn the pattern suggested, I decided to go off piste and select something with a bit more pizazz. I plumped for some lovely Sirdar Folksong in the colour combo ‘Quirky’ – a 50:50 wool/acrylic blend.

Sirdar Folksong in 'Quirky'
Sirdar Folksong in ‘Quirky’

I swear I did my homework – instead of just considering the weight of the yarn, I compared the lengths of yarn in the relative skeins and came up with the magic number 8 (balls). By my calculations, this should have also meant that I had a bit left over. Leaving nothing to chance, I also whipped up a swatch to test the gauge and reached the same conclusion. Well, you live and you learn is all I’ve got to say about that.

Falling short of yarn initially left me in something of a head scratching pickle. The Sirdar yarn had been purchased on sale from Deramores, and they were now out of stock. Luckily, my rescuer was residing on ebay, and I eventually managed to score another three balls at a bargain price (I have two left over, I’m thinking socks?). Cue relieved face! I only had the welts and neck edging left to do when I realised I wouldn’t have enough yarn to complete the job and I had been contemplating finishing them off in alternative yarn and attempting to colour-match one of the hues in the Sirdar yarn – no easy task.

Once the new batch of yarn arrived, it was onwards and upwards. The remaining sections of the jumper came together quickly and it was soon time to block it. This is the first time I’ve completed a knitting project on this scale i.e. not an accessory or an itty bitty cardi, so I’ve never bothered to block anything before. I knew that the principle was to ‘iron’ out any lumps and bumps and to ultimately produce a more wearable garment. I also knew that I was not prepared to buy any special equipment at this stage, and so I turned to this handy tutorial on Craftsy for the nitty gritty.

The blocking process: Soaking, rolling, drying
The blocking process: Soaking, rolling, drying

My only blocking purchases in the end were some baby shampoo and a plastic dust sheet. Other equipment included a bucket and some towels, which I had already. All through this process, I adhered to the mantra: “Don’t felt the wool”, so I was super careful to use tepid water and to not agitate the jumper too much when it was in the water. To dry it, I spread it out on some towels on our guest bed, with the dust sheet underneath to stop the bed from getting wet. It was roughly two days later before it was completely dry, and prancing around in the garment for blog photos could begin.

THE jumper - I highly recommend this pattern if you, too, would like to repeatedly recreate your own Titanic moment. I can't stop flinging my arms open wide in this thing.
The jumper – I highly recommend this pattern if you, too, would like to repeatedly recreate your own Titanic moment. I can’t stop flinging my arms open wide in this thing

This jumper is very wearable, although I am wondering whether I could have got away with making a size smaller. I do have reservations about how it looks when my arms are by my sides, all of that excess yarn gathering in folds is not terribly attactive, but hey ho, we live our lives in motion, so who cares, right?

Motion = jazz hands, yes?
Motion = jazz hands, yes?

The length was also a bit of a surprise. I’ve read reviews of this pattern that suggest it comes up short, but not for me. This is way less cropped than the pattern photo, and I didn’t intentionally add any extra length.

Jumper aside, this is how I spent the rest of my Saturday.

Up, up and away at Bicester Gliding Centre
Up, up and away at Bicester Gliding Centre

It was my first time gliding and upon landing I was pretty nauseous. Hopefully, I hid it well in my post-flight thumbs up photo. We reached the lofty heights of 4000 ft and I was a very lucky lady to have taken to the skies on such a gorgeous, sunny day. Spring has sprung, and summer’s not far behind – how have you been celebrating the change of season? Gin and tonic, optional…Ha, who am I kidding?!

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